Let’s take a close look at the Credible Fear Test issue within the immigration Issue…
When someone presents themselves at the border, either legally at a port, or illegally in between, border security applies a “Credible Fear Test”. If they pass, they get into the U.S. so they can go through the process of applying for asylum. When a caravan of people arrives at the border, the percent that apply for the Credible Fear Test ranges depending on the makeup of the caravan. Usually, somewhere between 25% to 75% apply. The others have to go to the back of the regular non-asylum immigration line. For example, those looking to join family in America, are looking for work, or a better life.
Of those that apply for the Credible Fear Test, currently about 75% claiming a fear pass the test and are allowed into the U.S. to apply for asylum in court–the next of several steps. Of those that make it to court, less than half are granted asylum. The rest have to go to the back of the non-asylum immigration line.
The Trump Administration
The Trump administration thinks too many immigrants are granted asylum and wants to make it more difficult to pass the Credible Fear Test. For example, by not allowing domestic violence, nor gang violence with the idea that the origin country should be able to handle the problem. I assume Trump and supporters support those fleeing systemic cartel-level gang violence, and government persecution applying for asylum, but that is another area that can be addressed. After one passes the Credible Fear Test, they still have to proceed to a court hearing. My assumption is that it would be easier for a person to get asylum for fear of a government, then from a cartel, but both are currently valid. Although open to discussion, cartel-level gang violence can be discussed further. Specifically, cartel-level gang violence can be fixed by the origin government. Currently, American policy allows all three. Meaning, one can apply for asylum using the Credible Fear Test for gang violence, cartel-level gang violence, or fear of the government.
Trump tried to change asylum seekers slightly. Trump’s new rules given to the DOJ, and the DHS, plus the proclamation signed by Trump, foreigners will still be allowed to request asylum if they present themselves at ports of entry. But the presidential directive forbids those who enter illegally from doing the same. After a few months, the court’s struck down this attempt by the Trump Administration to rewrite current immigration law without Congress.
Personal Opinion: My personal opinion is that I don’t care about this change. I imagine if Obama made this change, I would support it. However, we are all law-and-order people, and the president cannot change the law this way.
The rest of the details can be left alone, or tweaked. Domestic violence victims are an off and on hot-topic. My preference is to allow domestic violence victims to apply for asylum, but that is not an act of the Government, nor generally an overwhelming threat like warlords, and cartels. So, if we as a society want to eliminate that, I think most would still support a bill. I think the same is true for smaller local gangs. The main point is that the President of the United States should follow the current law, or work to change it.
Trump’s Problem-Solving Skills
…a problem, perhaps “the” current problem.
Opinion: I personally do not think Trump is capable of working through a process and leading. That leadership deficit is complicated by the fact he rarely listens to those around him. It is further complicated by the fact that Trump does not know how to identify truth, facts, and reality. Our president is literally a conspiracy theorist.
Problem-solving is about identifying a problem, and working through possible solutions to identify the best solution possible at this time. You need to understand where people stand, find out how and why we got to where we are now, decide on what you want to change, then enter negotiations and strive for the change you want. At the same time, realize America is NOT a dictatorship, and compromise is how we progress. Politics is, was, and will always be about compromise. With Trump I have a hard time figuring out what he wants, because of his extreme focus on winning. His win-lose zero-sum mindset is not a valid problem-solving process for a President.
Republicans Have Trouble Passing any Immigration Bill
Republicans can and should pass an immigration bill but cannot because they cannot agree within their own party. They failed to pass a bill even though they had control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, and immigration was a top priority for President Trump and all three branches of government, and a hot-topic throughout America. Some believe that Republican leaders purposely sabotage immigration progress because they want the issue to stay alive because it excites their base and helps them win elections. I do not know whether this is true or not, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Now that Democrats won the house, I think that will be good for this issue because Democrats will work with moderate Republicans to come up with either a comprehensive immigration bill that can pass and get signed by Trump, or both sides will agree to pass smaller leaner clean bills, like a clean E-Verify Enforcement bill.
Nov 2019 Note: The above hopeful paragraph was written right after the election when the House went to the Democrats. I did not anticipate the vindictive nature of Senator McConnell and the process is now more complicated. As of Nov 21, 2019 McConnell has not taken up a single bill passed by the House. He is literally stalling 250 legislative bills. This is bad government and extremely disappointing. I now personally believe Democrats know how to govern, and Republicans do not. I also believe that immigration will remain stalled until Democrats control the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. Although unlikely, I do acknowledge that the political tides could change to the point to allow for the passing of a bipartisan bill.
Read the following article for more context on the Credible Fear Test and immigration.